Looking for work if you’re disabled

When you are looking for a new job, look out for the “positive about disabled people” symbol (with two ticks) on adverts and application forms.
This symbol next to a job listing means that the employer is committed to employing disabled people. If the symbol is displayed next to a job advert, it means that you will be guaranteed an interview if the basic conditions for the job are met.

To find disabled friendly employers, or to gain new skills or help finding a job, you can visit your local Jobcentre for more information. The Jobcentre can also refer you to a specialist work psychologist if necessary or carry out an employment assessment. During the assessment, you will be asked about your existing skills and experience and the types of jobs or roles you are interested in.

At your local Jobcentre, you can also find a work coach who can assist you to find programmes and grants to ease you back into work. Two notable ones are ‘Work Choice’, a scheme to help you find a job and get support when starting a new job, and ‘Access to Work’, which provides money towards a support worker or towards the cost of any equipment modifications and/or travel expenses.

When applying for a job, an employer is not usually allowed to ask questions relating to your health or disability before offering you a position. There are only limited circumstances when this can be asked. One is to make any ‘reasonable adjustments’, such as providing a large print version of a test, and another is when deciding if you can do something that is an essential part of the job role.

If you feel that you are being or have been unfairly treated when applying for a job, you can contact the ‘Equality Advisory Support Service’ (EASS). You can also make a complaint to an employment tribunal if the report is made within three months of the discrimination happening. Remember that an employer is not allowed to discriminate against you because of your disability when considering if you can do a job.

There are many ways to contact the EASS. You can contact them via their website using the online form, by telephone on 0808 800 0082, textphone on 0808 800 084, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, and Saturdays 10am to 2pm.


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